The beardy photo of me I posted a few days ago prompted my old friend Nick Primmer (website under construction - oh yeah, we've heard that before) to pen the following, in which he speculates, with uncanny accuracy, about my next novel:
A RAZOR WRAPPED IN SILK
The latest in Morris’s Porfhairy Petrovitch series of crime novels opens with the detective bearded in his den, and scratching his head and facial hair over a mystery of a different type from the usual.
Why will his trusty cut-throat razor not remove his morning growth with its usual alacrity? He had no problems with A Gentle Axe, which although a little tricky to get the hang of did at least remove most of his beard, and indeed a good portion of his body above his neckline too. Similarly, A Vengeful Shaving did the trick, leaving him smooth-cheeked with only the occasional gobbet of bloodied cotton wool to mark the progress of his Gillette across his features. But now, now his latest cut-throat device failed to make any impression on the impressive beard which was already reaching down below his fobwatch chain, after only three days of unrestrained growth.
Petrovitch hefted the aforesaid instrument from the desk in front of him. The edge seemed singularly soft and dull – a telling metaphor for his own detecting powers which he tried his best to ignore. Once more he applied it to his jawline, but as before it slipped across his face without effect. He felt sure the mysterious note left on his desk from R. N. Morris was a clue: “A razor wrapped in silk.” What could it mean? If only it was a mere 75 years later when packaged goods had been invented, he could have worked it out, and would have known to remove the silk before shaving. But no, those days lay far ahead. Confused, clueless, Petrovitch stood and made his way to the kettle whistling on the hob, being careful to avoid tripping over his beard which was now floor length. Why on earth would anyone package goods for sale, thought Petrovich, carefully opening a tea bag and emptying the leaves into his teapot. It was certainly a mystery.
I'm sorry to disappoint Nick, a man so heavily bearded he looks like a Russian monk, but my own facial fuzz received a severe pruning yesterday.